Teenaged talent Jannik Sinner lost in the first round for a second straight event, with the Italian plagued by what he called serious back pain.
“I”ve never had this pain before,” the 19-year-old No. 34 told a physio during a medical time out during a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(3) loss to Aljaz Bedene in Montpellier on Wednesday.
Sinner disappointed at the Australian Open, beaten in his opening match by Canadian Denis Shapovalov in a battle of young guns.
Slovene Bedene hit 14 aces in a win ;lasting for nearly two and three-quarter hours at the French indoor event.
Sinner will have only days to get his back right before Monday’s start of his next event in Rotterdam.
The youngster won a tuner-up event this month before the start of the Australian Open.
Second seed David Goffin overhauled France’s Benjamin Bonzi 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.after losing his three previous matches this season.
“This is what I needed, a fight like this to finish with the win no matter what,” the Belgian said. “I’m happy that finally I won a good fight.”